I'm at OFFF--the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. It's held at a school, and I have a good booth location; not at the main entrance, but just inside one of the side entrances. My friends are helping me move my stuff in, and I leave them to set up the booth while I go shopping for spindles. Hey, the shoppers can wait while I get this taken care of.
I talk with the vendor and she helps me decide on a Turkish spindle. She points me to a section of the display, and I spend a long time looking at them, trying to pick my favorite design, before I realize that I'm looking at top whorl spindles when I wanted a bottom whorl. I look at the clock and discover that it's noon. The show's been open for two hours so maybe I ought to go check on my booth.
I find where my booth was last year. Some other vendor is there instead. I find one of my friends who was supposed to be helping me. She says, "Oh, they moved you somewhere else. I don't know where all your stuff is."
I walk all over the school looking for my booth. Finally, I find it in the football stadium. Some, but nowhere close to all, of my yarn and fiber is scattered in the first few rows of bleachers. Some people have tossed their coats onto my booth, so I'm flinging them around as I frantically search for my items.
"Hey!" says a man sitting next to my booth. "That's my coat you're throwing on the ground!"
"Well, maybe you shouldn't have put it on top of my yarn!" I retort.
His wife glares at me. "How do you expect anyone to buy your yarn if you're so rude to them?"
I wake up with my heart pounding. I think, maybe I've been thinking a little too much about yarn lately.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The LYS Tour starts today, and this morning I dropped off a small order at Apple Yarns to supplement their current stock of my yarns. This is all on Willow BFL/nylon sock yarn.
I'm also happy to announce that after the summer show season, I'll be adding another LYS on the tour, NW Handspun, to my retailers. They've got a lovely selection of yarns as well as spinning fibers and tools. My six-year-old is begging for me to bring home a wheel from them ("then I could earn money for you by spinning your fiber, mama!") but I think that might be the final straw to break my husband's back. He has been quite saintly about the boxes of yarns scattered throughout the house, but a wheel would be too much to tolerate, and too big for me to hide.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I leave for Black Sheep Gathering six weeks from today, and much to my surprise, I'm on track with my preparation. Amazing how a skein or braid of roving here and there can add up when you start early enough. My goal was to bring triple the amount of fiber that I had last year, and it looks like I'm on pace to have closer to quadruple. My BFL/silk blend (like the photo above) is definitely popular, so I'll have a lot of that.
What a change from how I felt around this time last year. During the runup to BSG, I was stressed about where my business was going, what I was investing for little emotional return, never getting enough sleep, and so on. If Black Sheep didn't go well, I was going to quit.
But it did go well. Better than I had dreamed of. I'd hoped to equal my Sock Summit take; I ended up selling almost 50% more. And even better were the comments that people made about my yarn, and my fiber. Those words, sometimes said directly to me, sometimes overheard as friends were talking to each other, have carried me through a lot of late nights.
And now I'm a full-time dyer, thanks to the magic rejuvenation of BSG. Thank you, Black Sheep friends, for reinspiring me. <3
Monday, May 2, 2011
I'm afraid to say this, but I think I might be caught up. I mean, not totally, as in I have nothing on the dye schedule, because I still have a lot, but that sense of panic has eased up. Fiber club is shipped, yarn club is shipped, and three wholesale orders (including the one shown above, which is now up at Pulling at Strings, here and here) went out the door last month. I have a couple of small custom orders to work on tomorrow, and then I might safely say that I'm back to my normal level of frenzy. I'm starting to think ahead a little bit, including hiring a local friend/web designer to do a standalone site for me, so that's a good sign.
I need to build in a little more leeway into my schedule. I'm not sure exactly how. My husband did offer to go back to a 4-10 schedule so he could help me wind yarn and reskein one day a week. That would be a huge boost to my productivity; I hope it works out.
In my ongoing efforts to prevent the Perfect from being the enemy of the Good Enough, I'll be listing a few things tonight on both Etsy and my HC store. Still trying to find the balance among building show inventory, completing wholesale orders, and tending to my own retail sales. We'll get there.